OB Handout # 1
Introduction to Organization
(Students are requested to study the textbooks by Fred Luthans and Stephen P
Robbins for a better understanding of the subject)
What is an Organization?
Organization is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of a group of
people, which functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve common goal or
a set of goals.
Organization is a collection of people who work together to achieve individual or
organizational goals.
Organization is group of people with specific responsibilities acting together for
achieving specific purpose.
Organization is a social arrangement that pursues collective goals.
Organization is a collection of people working together in a division of labour to
achieve common purpose.
While Henry Fayol emphasized that the purpose of an organization was to get work
done in a specialized, machine-like function, Peter Drucker proposed that ‘the
organization is above all, social, it is people’.
According to Herbert Simon, an Organization influences its members by
Division of Labour
Standard Practices
Decision making
Communication
Training
What is behaviour?
Behaviour is the pattern of how a person responds to a stimulus.
Responses can be influenced by
Culture: the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs,
and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization.
These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also
distinguishing those of another group.
Attitude: a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's like or dislike for
an item; mental position relative to a way of thinking or being. The current
popular usage of attitude implies a negative mindset, a "chip on the shoulder"
behavior, and an inner anger toward the prevailing majority of thought.
Emotion: a feeling that is private and subjective; a state of psychological arousal
an expression or display of distinctive somatic and autonomic responses.
Values: beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional
investment (either for or against something)
Ethics: response based on what is right; the process of determining how one should
hold the interests of various stakeholders, taking into account moral
values/principles
Authority: the power or right to give orders or make decisions
Coercion: obtaining a response by use force; compelling a person to behave in an
involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of
threats/intimidation
Persuasion: obtaining a response by convincing a person; the process of guiding
people toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic
(though not always logical) means. It is strategy of problem-solving relying on
"appeals" rather than force.
Genetics: inherited from parents; pertaining to genes or any of their effects.
What is Organizational Behaviour?
A field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structures
have on behaviour within organizations, for the purpose of applying such
knowledge towards improving an organization’s effectiveness.
–Stephen P Robbins
Organizational Behaviour is directly concerned with the understanding, prediction
and control of human behaviour in organizations.
–Fred Luthans
An academic discipline concerned with understanding and describing human
behaviour in an organizational environment. (This definition seeks to shed light on
the whole complex human factor in organizations by identifying causes and effects
of behaviour)
–Keith Davis
A systematic study of the nature of organizations: how they begin, grow, and
develop and their influence on individuals, groups, organizations and institutions.
–Joe Kelly
A field that seeks knowledge of behaviour in organizational settings by
systematically studying individual, group and organizational processes.
–Baron & Greenberg
The academic discipline of Organizational Behavior encompasses three broad
areas:
Behavior of People in Organizations
OB draws on psychology, anthropology and sociology to gain insight into the
behavior of individuals in organizational settings. Topics studied include:
perception, cognition, learning
personality and motivation
leadership, power, conformity, communication
decision making
Organizational Structure
Organizations consist of people organized to achieve organizational goals (like
manufacture cars). One of the most important strategic elements of an
organization is its structure: how the people are arranged so as to produce what
the organization produces. Topics include:
task identification and division of labor
departmentation
coordination and control mechanisms
processes and procedures, such as promotion, hiring policies, compensation
organizational form (e.g., bureaucracy)
size
centralization of decision-making
the relationships among these variables
Behaviour of organizations
Just as we can study the interactions of individuals with the organization and with
each other, we can also study the interactions of organizations with their
environments, which include individual citizens and other organizations including
the government. Some of the behaviors of organizations that we are interested in
include:
adoption of new practices such as
downsizing
team-based structure
domestic partner benefits (e.g., partners of gay employees get full medical
coverage)
re-engineering
environmental protection ("green" practices)
adaptation to changing conditions
global competition
increasing pace of technological change
changing social structure (e.g., status of women)
Why to study Organizational Behaviour?
Organizational Behaviour facilitates the process of explaining, understanding,
predicting, maintaining and changing employee behaviour in an organizational
setting.
Organizational Behaviour focuses on five levels of analysis:
Individual
Inter-personal
Group
Organizational
Environmental
Study of Organizational Behaviour becomes important because of broad nature
and scope of the subject:
Organizational Behavioour is Inter-disciplinary: It integrates knowledge from
various relevant disciplines e.g. Psychology, Sociology, Political Science,
Anthropology, Economics, Medical Science, Engineering etc.
Organizational Behaviour is an Applied Science: It is oriented towards
understanding the forces that affect behaviour so that their influences can be
predicted, monitored and guided towards better and effective functioning of the
organization.
Organizational Behaviour uses Scientific Methods: It follwos the scientific
methods and uses logical theory in its investigation and answering the research
questions. It is empirical, interpretative, critical and creative science.
Behavioural Orientation: It is directly connected with the human side of
management. More precisely, it looks at all the management functions from
behavioural perspective.
Contingency Approach: There are few absolutes in Organizational Behaviour. The
approach is directed towards developing managerial actions that are most
appropriate for a specific situation.
Challenges and Opportunities for Organizational Behaviour
Responding to globalization
Shifting Work/Employment Relationships
Work-life balance
Empowering people
Ethical behaviour
Responding to labour shortage
Improving people skill
Managing workforce diversity
Improving Quality and Productivity
Shifting Work-Employment Relationship
Robotized workplaces
Unmanned workstation
Officeless work
Open 24 hours, 24X7
Contract for work –Contract of work
Employed worker—Independent Contractor
Permanent—Temporary
Office—HomeShifting Work-Employment Relationship
Fixed—Flexible working hours
Jobs as property—Jobs as prosperity
Lifetime employment—Lifetime employability
Single task/career—multiple task career
Individual—Team
Functional—Cross-functional
Managers–Facilitators
Autonomous hierarchies—Independent Partnerships
Employee as a servant—Employee as a partner
Loyalty—Competence
Control—Commitment
Direction—Empowerment
Case Study#1
Dressing down for success
It is so hard to dress for success these days. For Jack Steeg, Vice President for Sales at the
Internet-partner division of Dell Computer in Austin, Texas, choosing what to wear to work
used to be a no-brainer. He would put on a white shirt, tie, and suite and be done with it. But
with the introduction of casual dress rules, picking an office wardrobe has become a major
task. That is why Steeg, 51, recently hired image consultant Sherry Maysonave to give him
some pointers on choosing casual outfits that befit his station.
It is the ultimate sartorial irony: Less restrictive dress codes were supposed to make life
more comfortable for everyone. Instead, with the old rules gone, many people are in a state
of dress-down confusion. As a result, companies are refining their dress policies or hiring
consultants such as Maysonave to help.
Of course, there are some general guidelines that will keep you from getting too far off the
mark. Fashion experts say men usually cannot go wrong with a sports coat in muted colours
and flannel or gabardine trousers. Shirts, whether button-down or knit pullover, must have a
collar. Women can wear pantsuits or tailored paints with a sweater set.
Beyond that, the rules get fuzzy. For one thing, they vary by region and industry. Not
surprisingly, the East Coast and Midwest are more conservative than the West Coast. About
50% of the financial, insurance and real estate companies allow casual dress once a week, but
just 34% permit it all the time, according to the Society of Human Resource Management
(SHRM). The SHRM says 44% of all businesses have adopted all-casual, all the time policies,
up from 36% in 1998.
Companies have also learnt that if they do not lay down specific policies, the word ‘dress
casual’ can be subject to wide interpretation. Three years ago, when Development Counselors
expanded its Casual Friday dress-code to five days a week, its 25 employees were delighted.
But then, they started wearing just anything they wanted –torn jeans, gym clothes, tube tops.
Things got so out of hand that management formed a committee to devise an official dress
policy. It then attached the new guidelines to employee handbook.
Tow years ago, the Austin office of Kennedy-Wilson International, a Los Angeles commercial
real estate firm, adopted a casual Friday policy and sent out a brief statement about
appropriate dress, nixing such items as sundresses and jogging suits. More recently, when
the introduced a new arrangement –business casual Monday through Thursday and plain
casual on Friday, they revised the requirements considerably. Example: Monday through
Thursday men have to wear shirts with collars and muted patterns; Friday, Hawaiian shirts
are OK.
When companies turn to image consultants, they are usually seeking guidance for more than
just deciding whether, say, open toed shoes are acceptable. They also must make sure
policies are not potentially discriminating. Ideally, that means that if you indicate specific
restrictions t women, you ought to do the same for men, and vice versa. Sometimes, these
things are held up legally for weeks. Some consultants conduct seminars for managers in
how to enforce the rules. Isbecque, for example, leads role playing exercises, holding up
photographs of specific infractions and asking participants to demonstrate how they would
confront a guilty employee. The bottom line is that although suits and tie may never regain
their once ubiquitous presence in the workplace, companies are stopping well short of
anything that goes.
Questions for discussion:
Discuss the issue of dress code in contemporary organizations.
Present arguments in for and against dress code at the workplace.
From perception point of view, why do you think there is such a variation in how employees
interpret dress policies? What, if anything, should be done for the differing perceptions?
How the people in India would respond to casual dress policy at the workplace?
(Courtesy: Organizational Behaviour by Fred Luthans, (10th edition) McGrawHill
International Edition, 2005)
P O S T E D B Y D R S R I R A N G K J H A A T 1 2 : 3 8 AM 0 C OM M E N T S
OB Handout # 2
Perceptip and Attribution
What is perception?
According to Stephen P Robbins, Perception is a process by which individuals organize and
interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. The term
originated from a Latin word ‘percepio’ meaning receiving, collecting, action of taking
possession, apprehension with the mind or senses.
Fred Luthans has defned Perception as a complicated interactions of selection, organization
and interpretation of stimuli. According to Luthans, the perceptual process comprises of
External environment—Confrontation—Registration—Interpretation—Feedback—
Behaviour—Consequence.
Perceptual Process
Objects in the environment—Observation—Perceptual Selection—Perceptual Organization—
Interpretation—Response
Perceptual Selectivity
Perceptual selection is the process by which people filter out irrelevant or less significant
information so that they can deal with the most important matters.
Perceptual Selection is determined by
External Factors
Internal Factors
External Factors affecting perceptual selection:
Size: The larger the size, the more likely it is to be perceived. The tallest person in the office
will invariably be noticed.
Intensity: The more intense an external factor (bright light, loud noise, high pitch sound
etc.) the more likely it is to be perceived. One may notice that the TV commercials always
have high pitch as compared to normal telecast.
Contrast: External factors that stand out against the background or things that are not
which people expect are more likely to be perceived.
Motion: A moving factor is more likely to be perceived than stationary factor. Films (motion
pictures) attract people more than a static picture.
Repetition: A repeated factor is more likely to be noticed. Marketing managers use this
principle in trying to get attention of the prospective customers.
Novelty and familiarity: Either novelty or familiarity will can attract attention. People
would quickly notice a person riding an elephant on a busy street in Delhi. On the other
hand, one is likely to spot a familiar face in a crowd or a familiar voice even if there is a lot of
noise and confusion.
A combination of these or similar factor may be operating at any time to affect perception.
Along with the internal factors, they determine whether any particular stimulus is more or
less likely to be noticed.
Internal factors affecting perceptual selection:
Personality: Personality has an interesting influence on what and how people perceive. For
example, conscientious people tend to pay more attention to external environmental cues
than does a less conscientious person. Less conscientious persons are impulsive, careless,
and irresponsible. They see their environment as hectic and unstable which affects the way
they make perceptual selections. On the other hand, more conscientious people organize
their perceptions into neat categories, allowing themselves to retrieve data quickly and in an
organized manner. In other words, they are careful, methodical, and disciplined in making
perceptual selections.
Learning: Learning determines the development of perceptual sets. A perceptual set is an
expectation of a particular interpretation based on past experiences with the same or an
identical object. In organizational settings, past experiences of the managers and employees
influence their perceptions to a great extent.
Motivation: A person’s most urgent needs and desires at any particular time can influence
perception. People perceive things that promise to help satisfy their needs and that they have
found rewarding in the past. Also, according to Pollyanna principle, people process pleasant
event more efficiently and accurately than they do unpleasant events. For example, an
employee who receives both positive and negative feedback during the appraisal meeting
may more easily and clearly remember the positive statements than the negative ones.
Perceptual Organization
Figure-ground: Perceived objects stand out as separable from their general background.
In the context of organizations, a company may import a new technology in order to compete
in the globalized economy. Here import of a new technology is a figure and global
competitive environment is the background. The employees will immediately notice the
installation of new technology whereas the global competitive environment is not visible by
naked eyes.
Perceptual grouping: There is a general tendency among individuals to group several stimuli
together into a recognizable pattern. There are certain underlying uniformities in grouping.
When simple constellations of stimuli are presented to people, they tend to group them
together by closure, continuity, proximity, and similarity.
Closure: An individual may perceive a whole while one actually does not exists. The
person’s perceptual process closes the gaps that are unfilled by from sensory inputs. In a
formal organization, employees may either see a ‘whole’ that does not exits or not be able to
put the pieces together into a ‘whole’ that does exists. For example, head of a project team
may take the view that the entire team agrees to his plan of action whereas there are differing
views among the team members, which remains unarticulated in a formal manner. On the
other hand, a functional team might view/perceive that their objectives are the objectives of
the whole company.
Continuity: An individual tend to perceive continuous lines/patterns. This leads to
inflexible thinking on the part of organizational members (both managers and employees).
Thus, only the obvious, continuous patterns or relationships are perceived. For example, a
new design for some production process or product may be limited to obvious flows or
continuous lines/patterns. New innovative ideas or designs may not be perceived.
Proximity: A group of stimuli that are close together will be perceived as a whole pattern of
parts belonging together. For example, several employees in an organization may be
identified as a single group because of physical proximity. Several workers who work on a
particular process may be viewed as a single whole. If the output is low and the supervisor
reports a number of grievances from the group, the management may perceive that all the
workers working on that particular process are trouble makers whereas in some of them
might be loyal and dedicated employees.
Similarity: The greater the similarity of stimuli, the greater is the tendency to perceive
them as a common group. Similarity is conceptually related to proximity but in most cases
stronger than proximity. In an organization, all employees who wear blue collars may be
perceived as a common group, when in reality, each employee is a unique individual. This
might also lead to perceptual error termed as stereotyping.
Perceptual Constancy: There are two issues. While objective reality of stimuli remains
unchanged, people’s subjective reality also remains constant. That is, the individual is likely
to give meaning to stimuli in the same way whenever exposed to them unless and until
objective reality has been revealed more broadly by way of undoing the perceptual errors.
For example, a manager in the company who believes that female employees are poor
performers would continue to have the same perception until and unless the latter prove that
they are better than their male colleagues.
Perceptual Context: It gives meaning and value to simple stimuli in the environment. The
organizational culture and structure provide the primary context in which workers and
managers perceive things. Thus, a verbal order, an e-mail message, a new policy, a
suggestion, a raised eyebrow, a pat on the back takes on special meaning and value when
placed in the context of work organization.
Perceptual Errors:
Accuracy of judgment:
Similarity error: People are predisposed towards those having similar traits, socioeconomic-cultural background.
Contrast error: People tend to compare among the available resources and thus arrive at a
conclusion that might be far from the objective reality.
Race/gender/age bias: People’s perception may be tempered by their prejudices vis-à-vis
race, gender, and age.
First impression error: People may hold a long-term view about a person or thing based
on first impression.
Perceptual defense: People tend to defend the way they perceive things. Once established,
a person’s way of viewing the world may become highly resistant to change. Sometimes,
perceptual defense may have negative consequences. This perceptual error can result in
manager’s inability to perceive the need to be creative in solving problems. As a result, the
individual simply proceeds as in the past even in the face of evidence that business as usual is
not accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Stereotyping: It is the belief that all members of a specific groups share similar traits and
behaviour. Most often, a person is put into a stereotype because the perceiver knows only the
overall category to which the person belongs. However, because each individual is unique,
the real traits of the person are generally quite different from those that stereotype would
suggest.
Halo effect: Under halo effect, a person is perceived on the basis of a single trait. It
generally occurs during performance appraisal where the supervisor rates an employee on
the basis of only one trait e.g. intelligence, punctuality, cooperativeness appearance etc.
Projection: It is the tendency of seeing one’s own traits in others. Thus, individuals project
their own feelings, personality characteristics attitudes, or motives onto others. Projection
may be especially strong for undesirable traits that the perceivers possess but fail to
recognize in themselves. People whose personality traits include stingyness, obstinacy, and
disorderliness tend to rate others higher on these traits than do people who do not have
these traits.
Theoretical Framework of Organizational Behaviour
Behavioural Framework:
Behaviour can be best explained in terms of stimulus—Response. That is, a particular
stimulus will lead to a particular response. However, responses can be conditioned or
trained by presenting conditioned stimulus/consequences.
Classical Conditioning: Ivan Pavlov and John Watson developed this theory.
According to this theory, learning/conditioning takes place when Stimulus-Response
connection is established. Classical conditioning may be defined as a process in
which a neutral stimulus, when repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus,
becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits a conditioned response.
This may be explained as under:
Unconditioned Stimulus—Unconditioned Response
Conditioned stimulus—Conditioned Response.
Ivan Pavlov developed the theory of classical conditioning on the basis of his famous
experiment with dog. Whenever he presented meat powder (Unconditioned
Stimulus) to the dog, it salivated (Unconditioned Response). The dog did not salivate
when a bell rung (Neutral Stimulus/Conditioned Stimulus). Later, Pavlov rang the
bell (Conditioned Stimulus) whenever he presented meat powder (Unconditioned
Stimulus) to the dog. He repeated the exercise several times. Afterwards, Pavlov rang
the bell (Conditioned Stimulus) without presenting the meat powder (Unconditioned
Stimulus) and found that the dog actually salivated (Conditioned Response).
Critics of Classical Conditioning theory say that this theory at best explains reflexive
(involuntary/automatic/impulsive) behaviour.
Operant Conditioning: B F Skinner developed Operant Conditioning theory in
order to overcome the weaknesses of Classical Conditioning. In Operant
Conditioning, responses to a particular stimulus occur on the basis on consequences
of that response. Thus there is strong association between consequence and response
to a particular stimulus.
This may be explained as under:
Stimulus—Response—Consequences—Future Response on the basis of
consequence
Consequences can be any of the following:
Something good can begin or be presented
Something good can end or be taken away
Something bad can begin or be presented
Something bad can end or be taken away
Consequences have to be immediate and clearly linked to the responses.
Behavioural framework debunked the Freudian proposition that behaviour came
from unconscious.
Cognitive Framework:
Cognition means a mental process involved in knowing, learning and understanding
things. Edward Tolman propounded this theory in 1940s. According to cognitive
Framework, cognition precedes response/behaviour and constitute inputs into
person’s thinking, perception, problem solving and information processing.
The theory may be explained as under:
Stimulus-Cognition-Response
According to Tolman, behaviour of a person is determined by Expectancy, Demand
and Intention based on his/her cognition. He developed this theory on the basis of
his experiment with white rat. He found that a rat could learn to run through an
intricate maze with a purpose and direction towards a goal (food). He observed that
at each choice point in the maze, expectations were established. In other words, the
rat learned to expect that certain cognitive cues associated with the choice point
might eventually lead to food. If the rat actually received the food, the association
between the cue and expectancy was established and learning occurred.
In Organizational Behaviour, Cognitive Framework has been applied mainly in
motivation. Expectations, attributions, locus of control and goal-setting are all
cognitive concepts that represent purposefulness of the subject.
Social Cognitive Framework:
This framework was developed by Albert Bandura who believes that human
behaviour can best be explained in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction
among cognitive, behavioural and environmental determinants. Most of our
responses are guided by observation and imitation.
According to this theory, human behaviour is determined by five basic capabilities:
Symbolizing: An individual associates a symbol to his future responses.
Forethought: An individual anticipates the consequences and accordingly makes a
choice of responses.
Observational: An individual observes others before choosing his/her own
responses.
Self-regulatory: an individual controls his/her action by setting internal standards
(aspired levels of performance) and by evaluating discrepancy between the standard
and the performance
Self-reflective: An individual reflects back on his/her actions and perceptually
determine the causes of success or failure and possible measure to improve the
quality of responses.
Organizational Behavior – Theoretical Frameworks
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR ARTICLE SERIES
COGNITIVE APPROACH EMPHASIZES THE POSITIVE AND FREEWILL
ASPECTS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND USES CONCEPTS SUCH AS
EXPECTANCY, DEMAND, AND INTENTION. BEHAVIORIST APPROACH IS
ENVIRONMENTALLY BASED. SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY RECOGNIZES
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEHAVIORISM’S CONTINGENT ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSEQUENCES, BUT ALSO INCLUDES COGNITIVE PROCESSES OF SELF
REGULATION.
Contents
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Theoretical Frameworks or Perspectives in Psychology
Cognitive Framework
Behavioristic Framework
Social Cognitive Framework
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THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS OR PERSPECTIVES IN PSYCHOLOGY
Initially psychology was developed using the mental thinking expressed by persons interested in
developing the subject of psychology. But John B. Watson differed from that approach and he
pioneered the approach in which visible behavior and visible environmental stimulus became the
subject of study. B.F. Skinner developed this behavioristic framework further by bringing in the
contingent environmental consequences. Behavior is not the outcome of stimulus alone, but it is an
outcome determined by the stimulus as well as the contingent environmental consequences of a
behavior. This means, there are alternative behaviors for the same stimulus and which behavior is
exhibited by a person depends on expected environmental consequences.
Cognitive perspective on psychology have developed by arguing that human beings are capable of
thinking and concepts related to thinking must be brought into the subject of psychology whose
objective is to explain behavior. Even though, one cannot see or observe thinking, still developing
concepts related to thinking and using the concepts to explain behavior is required in psychology.
Even though one cannot see or observe gravitation, the concept of gravitation is a useful concept in
physics. Similarly, concepts related to thinking or cognition are to be developed and used in
psychology was the argument of propopents of congitive approach to psychology.
The perspectives in psychology have influenced the development of organizational behavior.
COGNITIVE FRAMEWORK
Cognitive approach emphasizes the positive and freewill aspects of human behavior and uses
concepts such as expectancy, demand, and intention. Cognition can be simply defined as the
act of knowing an item of information. In cognitive framework, cognitions precede behavior
and constitute input into the person’s thinking, perception, problem solving, and information
processing.
The work of Edward Tolman can be used to represent the cognitive theoretical approach.
According to Tolman, learning consists of the expectancy that a particular event will lead to a
particular consequence. This cognitive concept of expectancy implies that organism is
thinking about, or is conscious or aware of the goal and result of a behavior exhibited by it. It
means that a person desires a goal and also knows the behavior that will lead to achievement
of the goals.
In the subject of organizational behavior, cognitive approach dominates the units of analysis
such as perception, personality and attitudes, motivation, behavioral decision making and
goal setting.
BEHAVIORISTIC FRAMEWORK
Pioneer behaviorists Ivan Pavlov and Jon B. Watson stressed the importance of studying
observable behaviors instead of the elusive mind. They advocated that behavior could be best
understood in terms of stimulus and response (S-R). They examined the impact of stimulus
and felt that learning occurred when the S-R connection was made. Modern behaviorism, that
marks its beginning with B.F. Skinner, advocates that behavior in response to a stimulus is
contingent on environmental consequences. Thus, it is important to note that behaviortistic
approach is based on observable behavior and environmental variables (which are also
observable).
SOCIAL COGNITIVE FRAMEWORK
Social learning theory takes the position that behavior can best be explained in terms of a
continuous reciprocal interaction among cognitive, behavioral, and environmental
determinants. The person and the environmental situation do not function as independent
units but, in conjunction with behavior itself, reciprocally interact to determine behavior. It
means that cognitive variables and environmental variables are relevant, but the experiences
generated by previous behavior also partly determine what a person becomes and can do,
which, in turn, affects subsequently behavior. A persons cognition or understanding changes
according to the experience of consequences of past behavior.
Bandura developed social learning theory into the more comprehensive social cognitive
theory (SCT). Stajkovic and Luthans have translated this SCT into the theoretical framework
for organizational behavior. Social cognitive theory recognizes the importance of
behaviorism’s contingent environmental consequences, but also includes cognitive processes
of self regulation. The social part acknowledges the social origins of much of human thought
and action (what individual learns from society), whereas the cognitive portion recognizes the
influential contribution of thought processes to human motivation, attitudes, and action. In
social cognitive theoretical framework, organizational participants are at the same time both
products and producers of their personality, respective environments, and behaviors. The
participants as a group of produce the environment, every individual is a product of the
enironment and through his behavior changes the environment for others as well as for
himself, every individual is a product of his personality, but also influences his personality as
consequence of results of his behavior.
Bandura identified five basic human capabilities as a part of SCT.
1. Symbolizing: People process visual experiences into cognitive models. They help in
future action.
2.
Forethought: Employees plan their actions.
3. Observational: Employees learn by observing the performance of the referent group
(peers, supervisors and high performers) and the consequences of their actions.
4.
Self-regulatory: Employees self regulate their actions by setting internal standards
(aspired level of performance).
5. Self-reflective: Employees reflect back on their actions (how did I do?) and perceptually
determine how they believe then can successfully accomplish the task in the future given the
context (probability of success between 0 to 100% is estimated)
control of behavior. It is important to know how a person perceives a situation to predict his behavior. There are differences as well as consistencies that can be
seen in people's behavior.
An overall model of organizational behavior can be developed on the basis of three theoretical frameworks. They are the cognitive, behavioristic and social
learning frameworks. The cognitive approach gives more credit to people than the other approaches and is based on the expectancy, demand and incentive
concepts. Edward Tolman has made significant contributions to this approach.
Behavioristic framework focuses on observable behaviors. Ivan Pavlov and John B.Watson were the pioneers of the behavioristic theory. They explained human
behavior on the basis of the connection between stimulus and response. The social learning approach incorporates the concepts and principles of both the
cognitive and behavioristic frameworks. In this approach, behavior is explained as a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral and
environmental determinants. The organization behavior model (S, O, B, C) has incorporated the best aspects from the three frameworks of human behavior. In
this model, the letters S, O, B, C represent situation, organism, behavior and consequences, respectively.
In modern times, managers confront many challenges and opportunities. The greatest challenges among all of them are the result of environmental changes
occurring due to globalization, information technology, total quality, and diversity and ethics. OB models help managers to face these challenges and take
appropriate actions. The four models of OB are the autocratic model, the custodial model, the supportive model and the collegial model. The autocratic model is
based on power. It works well especially in times of an organizational crisis.
The custodial model of OB takes into consideration the security needs of employees. A custodial environment gives a psychological reassurance of economic
rewards and benefits. The supportive model of OB seeks to create supportive work environment and motivate employees to perform well on their job. In the
collegial model, the management nurtures a feeling of partnership with its employees, and makes the employees feel themselves as an asset to the organization.
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Organizational Behavior – Theoretical Frameworks